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Bridge the Workforce Gap With Youth Employee Retention Strategies

There might be a gap in your employee retention strategies if you employ youth or want to employ youth. Youth in eastern Ontario are members of a hidden workforce that are available for employment but are often, unintentionally, overlooked by employers due to gaps in communication because of factors like age and poverty. If you’re employing members of this hidden workforce or you plan to, read on to learn retention strategies to close the gap in communication and keep this powerful workforce in the eastern Ontario community and part of the economy. 

Your Current Employee Retention Strategies Might Be Excluding Youth

Chances are your employee retention strategies are already strong. You’re probably already providing competitive salaries, employing effective recruitment techniques to build strong teams, and stacking your management team with strong leadership. 

But the hidden workforce, especially the youth cohort not currently in the workforce and affected by poverty, might require different strategies. The strategies listed below may contain new or different approaches to bridge communication gaps between employers and youth employees but they are also helpful for all employee retention, regardless of age or their place in the workforce. 

Onboarding and Training Tips for Employee Retention  

  • Create onboarding and training that is hands-on/experiential; this strategy has the added benefit of helping more than just youth. All your employees can benefit from onboarding and training through different learning methods
  • Offer on-site training specific to identified areas of concern, for example, soft skills, work ethic, critical thinking, and include cognitive behaviour techniques. If you access community resources for this training, you’ll make it more cost effective. 
  • Develop individual retention plans to address each person’s area for development and growth. Every person is unique so shouldn’t their retention and training be unique too?
  • Be generous with the time you allot for onboarding, training, and follow-up; this should include reiteration of the training more than once. 
  • Use gifs and pictographs to summarize training so employees can refer to them on an ongoing basis. 

Be First In Retention Through Leadership

  • Implement on the job mentorship or a buddy system for all aspects of your business. Have your mentors go beyond teaching employees how to do their jobs and include the often overlooked things like: where the bathroom is, how to clock in and clock out each day. 
  • Don’t be afraid to provide constant feedback and help with decision making, job performance, and even life circumstances that might be affecting the job. Be prepared for “in the moment” conversations. Patience, positivity, and empathy are always necessary and appreciated.
  • Ask for regular feedback on your own performance. By asking your employees what kind of management techniques do/don’t work you reflect your own commitment to growth and development and create a safe environment for communication. 

Recruitment and Retention in Eastern Ontario Runs on Skills

Continued skills training for employees shows your investment in their development and growth. Take a look at some of the upskilling programs you can access in eastern Ontario for your employees. 

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External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.


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